Free Speech Resources

This page aggregates and organizes the writing about the First Amendment, free speech rights, free speech culture, and related topics.

Section I: Posts About Meta-Issues

In Defense of Free Speech Pedantry — A post arguing we should clarify whether we’re arguing about Free Speech Rights (issues concerning legal rights), Free Speech Culture (issues concerning how we choose as a culture to respond to speech), and Speech Decency (what speech is kind, moral, and decent).

Section 2: Posts About Free Speech Rights

  • The First Amendment And Its Exceptions

The First Amendment Isn’t Absolute. But So What? A discussion of what it means to say the First Amendment isn’t absolute and has exceptions, and why that observation is of limited use in a debate over any particular disfavored speech.

  • Defamation Law

Lawsplainer: Sarah Palin's Defamation Claim Against The New York Times Can Go To Trial: Analysis of actual malice and other issues from the Palin defamation case.

Can a Tarot Card Reading Be Defamatory? How do you separate fact from opinion when the opinion is based on magic?

Fox News v. Fox Entertainment: Does The Difference Matter? Countering the trope that Fox “admitted that it’s news, not entertainment,” and explaining how this matters in the defamation context.

  • Section 230

Section 230 is The Subject Of the Most Effective Legal Propaganda I've Ever SeenHow a disinformation campaign has misled you about Section 230, and links to resources that get it right.

  • Anti-SLAPP

Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter One: Chapter One: How Do Lawsuits Work Without An Anti-SLAPP Statute, And Why Is That A Problem? To explain how anti-SLAPP statutes work, I start with explaining how the system without them doesn’t protect speech effectively.

Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter Two: How Do Anti-SLAPP Statutes Fix Civil Litigation Problems And Help Defendants? In the second chapter I explain how anti-SLAPP statutes provide defendants with an effective early remedy to get out of bogus censorious lawsuits.

Anti-SLAPP Lawsplainer Series, Chapter Three: What Makes A Good Anti-SLAPP Statute? Not all anti-SLAPP statutes are created equal. What makes a good one?

Section 3: Posts About Free Speech Culture

The Moral and Philosophical Incoherence of "How Dare You Walk Out On My Speech" — why people’s angry response to your speech, and speech about it, is also free expression.

Alex Jones At The Tower of Babel: Why legalism and emotive, tribal speech can be a poor match.

Our Fundamental Right To Shame And Shun The New York Times: My critique of the concept of “cancel culture” and attempt to define it.

Nothing New Under The First Amendment Sun: Our culture has always been hashing out the conflict between the values of the state and the values of the individual as expressed through speech.